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How much does God really "control"?


Spirituality & Religious Beliefs Contemplate your place and purpose in the universe.

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Old 22nd February 2017, 3:26 PM   #31
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God controls everything. Literally everything. The Bible even says that a leaf cannot fall to the ground without his awareness.
God’s inherent awareness of everything does not mean that God controls everything.

The idea that God ‘allows’ (or does not allow) certain or specific things to happen on Earth – whether good or bad – does not properly or adequately take into account
God’s decision to bestow upon us, the people of Earth, free will – and, for that matter, self-awareness.

If God really wanted to control everything or if God had originally planned to control everything, then giving us free will – that allows or makes it possible for us to choose
to go against His Will and His Plan and His Vision – would just have been a monumental blunder on His part, don’t you think?

The ‘granting of the nations of Earth’ refers to God giving us – even in our lesser-lower or fallen consciousness – ‘dominion over the Earth’; which, Earth is the God-created, God-given environment or ‘schoolroom’ in which we must learn how to come back into oneness with our God through the Consciousness of the Mind of Christ – which we attain by using our free will to consciously and willingly decide and choose to put down the mind of hatred, bitterness and spiritual ignorance, pride and arrogance; the mind of Antichrist or Satan.

It is only through our own lesser-lower minds or consciousness, individually and collectively, that it can be said that “the world is currently Satan’s” – the ‘satans’ in the piece are all those individuals of Earth who refuse to come up higher in consciousness. And, it is only through the raising up of our own minds or consciousness – by individually and collectively, gradually ‘letting the old man (the carnal ego) die’ and in its place ‘putting on the Mind of Christ’ – that the Second Coming shall appear. WE are in control of all of this, through our own free-will choices and decisions; which is God’s Plan from the Beginning and why He gave us self-awareness, free will and dominion over the Earth.


Jesus’ God was purely a God of Love, Mercy and Forgiveness – true Christians believe in this God, not in Moses’ God. (References to a jealous and vengeful God are, in reality, veiled references to the impersonal, immutable and exacting nature of the Laws of God, which are, obviously, separate and distinct from the NATURE of God Himself.
The descriptions were given in the past to a peoples in a particular state of consciousness and who, at that time, could not fathom a higher Teaching – whereas we, today, have a higher collective consciousness that can fathom ideas and concepts of scientifically-accurate laws that govern our physical world and our spiritual lives.)

Yes, God – and not man – is the measure of all things; yet, in exactly the same manner that Jesus did, man must measure up in order to be accepted into Heaven.
Here, again, it is our individual free will choice – not God’s. God will neither force us to be good (just so that He can take us into Heaven), nor to be bad (just so that He can cast us into ‘hell’).

Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, the Message is often veiled or given in a parable – there are various levels to the Teachings for those with ‘eyes to see’ and ‘ears to hear’; thus, to think that one has the highest level of understanding available in any chapter or verse can actually serve to retard one’s personal spiritual growth, for, it leads one to stop seeking for the next-higher level of Truth

In Love and Light.
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Old 22nd February 2017, 3:42 PM   #32
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Then...who - or what external force or agent - is in charge of and controlling you and your mind, choices, decisions and actions?

Or, are you saying that we are all completely and utterly at the mercy and whim of an unpredictable Higher Power? .
I'm saying for those that believe in a God, the logical conclusion would be that they are completely at the mercy of said said Higher Power.

For those of us that are non-believers, we tend to debate nature (i.e. biology) vs. nurture (i.e. environment) when it comes to our behaviour.

And then of course there are those that believe in astrology...
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Old 22nd February 2017, 3:57 PM   #33
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If I was God and I had created life on Earth, I'd be shaking my head at all those people waiting around for fate to hand them things on a silver platter and just waiting idly and wistfully praying for things that they themselves could control, because to my way of Godly thinking, "Hey, I gave you life and a body and a brain. Now you expect me to spend all my precious time micromanaging you? That's what your brain is for! Get busy and direct your life! A nice thank you once in awhile, however, will be well received."
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Old 22nd February 2017, 4:04 PM   #34
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I'm saying for those that believe in a God, the logical conclusion would be that they are completely at the mercy of said said Higher Power.

For those of us that are non-believers, we tend to debate nature (i.e. biology) vs. nurture (i.e. environment) when it comes to our behaviour.

And then of course there are those that believe in astrology...
Weezy1973,
Are you okay with unnecessarily limiting those of us who believe in God and also believe in our self-governing power and also believe in science, nature, biology and quantum physics? (There actually is also a branch of study of 'spiritual astrology' - purportedly also used by 'the Three Wise Men' to locate, through following 'the Star', Baby Jesus --- but this is not in my wheelhouse. .)

Now, just because I believe in God - which, to me, is a trite thing to say - does not mean that I even vaguely feel like God's victim or slave or puppet. (Or however one would feel if their sense of identity had them 'completely at the mercy of' some external Being or deity or person or force or agent.)
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Old 22nd February 2017, 4:30 PM   #35
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I would like to toss a question in here for consideration, and I would like to hear what you guys think. ^^;

Do you think there is any possibility that.... when human beings say that God is in control of everything, (and perhaps, by extension, that the devil is responsible for everything bad/evil that happens,) that perhaps part of this could be considered an attempt on behalf of humans to deny personal responsibility and shift the blame to another source?

In the Bible, it even says that the first thing Adam did was blame both God and Eve for his choice, his actions, all in one swoop. Basically, "It was the woman you gave me who told me to eat the fruit." Depending on how you read it, that could be seen as a direct accusatory to God, possibly for giving you something that ended up being somehow flawed or fallible, while also deflecting personal responsibility and also blaming it on Eve.

And in turn, Eve blamed it all on the snake, or Satan.

And it seems like this is pretty much anything that anyone does when they've been caught doing something wrong, and especially when they're humiliated, upset with themselves, and/or afraid of the consequences. They even hid from God when they never would have had any reason to fear or hide before this point.
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Old 22nd February 2017, 4:52 PM   #36
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I have had advance warnings from God, prior to most of the bad things that have happened to me. Circumstances within my control, and following my bad judgement, stubbornness - or not listening to Him.
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Old 22nd February 2017, 5:10 PM   #37
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Are you okay with unnecessarily limiting those of us who believe in God and also believe in our self-governing power and also believe in science, nature, biology and quantum physics?
I'm saying that if you understand that human behaviour is caused by a combination of environmental and genetic / biological determinants, you can't also believe in free will. Or God controlling people. Or astrology controlling people. Those are mutually exclusive ideas.

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Now, just because I believe in God - which, to me, is a trite thing to say - does not mean that I even vaguely feel like God's victim or slave or puppet. (Or however one would feel if their sense of identity had them 'completely at the mercy of' some external Being or deity or person or force or agent.)
That's why I called free will an illusion. We all feel like we're free to make whatever choices we want. But our choices are not free. They are caused. We live in a cause and effect universe.


But if you believe in God you can look at it this way:

God is omniscient. He knows all. He knows how it all is going to end. He knows the choices people are going to make and he knows who will ultimately go to Heaven and who won't. In His eyes this must all be predetermined because he created the universe already knowing the ending.

To us the choices seem free, but to God, he's like "ahhhhh I KNEW Ronni W would be posting on LoveShack; totally saw that coming!"
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Old 22nd February 2017, 5:31 PM   #38
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, you can't also believe in free will. Or God controlling people. Or astrology controlling people. Those are mutually exclusive ideas.
They're only mutually exclusive if one believes that those are the ONLY influencing factors and determinants - and if there isn't an acknowledgement, understanding or acceptance of spiritual concepts like Free Will, Karma (Cause and Effect), reincarnation, etc.

Quote:
We live in a cause and effect universe.
I agree. The all-important difference is that I say the Cause is within, while you say, if I'm understanding correctly (which, of course, I may not be),
that the cause is outside of you.

Quote:
But if you believe in God you can look at it this way:

God is omniscient. He knows all. He knows how it all is going to end. He knows the choices people are going to make and he knows who will ultimately go to Heaven and who won't. In His eyes this must all be predetermined because he created the universe already knowing the ending.
Fair enough...believers in God most certainly could look at it that way. But, if they did, then they are either not taking into account the Law of Free Will - or they have
a very poor or misguided understanding of it.

In any case, after this point we are just going to be discussing or arguing over words and interpretations of words -- and going way off topic in the process.

Have a terrific rest of day,
Ronni
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Old 22nd February 2017, 11:36 PM   #39
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The truth of the matter is that reality cannot be fully understood by human logic. There is a limitation even to the most brilliant philosopher. Certain things will never be understood, nor were they meant to be.

The Bible makes it clear that everything is pre-destined. Yet at the same time, this very Bible commands us to make the right choices morally and spiritually--as if it's up to us. So on one hand it supports the idea of fate, but on the other hand it's narrative is one of apparent free-will.

Is this a contradiction? To human logic, yes. But I take it on faith that they can somehow both operate simultaneously--each one is completely true on its own yet still accommodates the other. *mind blown*
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Old 23rd February 2017, 6:49 PM   #40
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The truth of the matter is that reality cannot be fully understood by human logic. There is a limitation even to the most brilliant philosopher. Certain things will never be understood, nor were they meant to be.

The Bible makes it clear that everything is pre-destined. Yet at the same time, this very Bible commands us to make the right choices morally and spiritually--as if it's up to us. So on one hand it supports the idea of fate, but on the other hand it's narrative is one of apparent free-will.

Is this a contradiction? To human logic, yes. But I take it on faith that they can somehow both operate simultaneously--each one is completely true on its own yet still accommodates the other. *mind blown*
The only thing that I can think to say in response to this is.... well, I'm not sure if this is exactly on-topic, or if it fits as a response to what you said here, but....

There is something that a friend told me long ago that I still keep in my heart, because ever since she said it, it remained burned in my memory. When I was telling her that it seemed like God had a way of answering my prayers by giving me *WHAT* I wanted, (at least technically in some cases) but it was not how I wanted it or the way I wanted it in some cases, or it wasn't my first choice even if it was still a direct answer.

What she said to me, the thing that has stuck with me all this time, was this: "One thing I've found is that God likes irony."

And ever since then.... I keep carrying around the word "irony" in my mind in that specific context. Whenever something happens, whenever it seems like the way is being paved for me in a way where.... I don't like part of it, or the way it is happening was not my preferred choice or what I would have originally asked for, and YET it still ends up pushing me in the right direction and being good for me in the long run somehow.... I keep mentally telling myself that it's "ironic", and therefore part of God's will.

So.... in my flow of thinking and operating, I guess there are often two things that I look for when it comes to determining God's will and the flow of my life, the PLAN for my life, (and.... even if it might not be considered direct control, it could definitely be considered divine influence,) I look for anything that could fall under the categories of "humility/humbleness" and "irony", where I use the definition of "irony" in the context I mentioned above. (I used to confuse one of my friends if I said the word "ironic" in a conversation once in a rare while, because they thought I was trying to say I found something in a serious situation funny, which.... was not exactly what I meant in that context.)

It is also said by many Christian speakers/teachers and, I think, scholars that God's ways are not our ways, which.... can also be interpreted to mean that you can aim for some things in your life that feel right, even if the people around you think you're making bad choices or that you're insane, because God already knows everything that is gonna happen and therefore lowly humans shouldn't go around acting like they know how you should live/run your life better than Him. (Even if this also means you shouldn't run off and do something crazy on an impulse or a feel-good vibe, either.)
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Old 23rd February 2017, 7:09 PM   #41
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God does have a sense of irony. The best example is how God came as a human being to his OWN people...who were given prophecies and were EXPECTING him...yet he was rejected.
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Old 23rd February 2017, 8:20 PM   #42
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God does have a sense of irony. The best example is how God came as a human being to his OWN people...who were given prophecies and were EXPECTING him...yet he was rejected.
I was once told by one of the primary people who taught me about God and the Bible that part of this was because some of these people were expecting a powerful warrior to come and defeat all of their enemies with a mighty hand.

I guess the irony here is that Jesus actually did defeat the most powerful enemy of all through sacrifice. The way I understand it is that the sacrifice, death and resurrection removed the penalty of sin, which also meant that the devil and hell itself no longer has any hold over humanity unless humans choose to reject Christ.

So in a way... the mortal rejection and Crucifixion of Christ lead to the fulfillment of prophecy and God's will being carried out in a manner of speaking.... while preserving humanity's free will and ability to reject or choose God as we see fit.

And... I guess I'm still a bit confused about something in general. Is it really true that God chose certain people first? If so, does that mean He goes out of His way to exert more influence over those that He knows would be more receptive to Him.... or could it be said that He only goes to those who ask Him to be more involved with their daily/personal lives?

I also remember reading something on a Catholic blog once, that supposedly quoted something from the Pope... I dont' remember it exactly, so I can't quote it precisely, but it said something about how God made His presence known to ALL humans one way or another, so that.... even at the moment of death, even the most ignorant or adament non-believer would glimpse His spirit and is given a chance to be spared from hell. And if the person accepts Him on the spot, sometimes it leads to a truly glorious moment where the person will go straight to Heaven without even going to Purgatory. But there are still some cases where someone will reject God outright or push Him away.

That was according to that source at least, and I may have recited it poorly, but I think it does have something to do with God's will and how much He may influence or have a say in things. I'm not entirely sure if it's true or if I should agree with it fully, I just think it is very interesting and I hope it is true because I want to believe that anyone at all could be given a chance in the end to reach Heaven, that God would not choose to outright shun anyone who refused to walk in Him during the majority of their life on earth.
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Old 24th February 2017, 12:15 AM   #43
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I was once told by one of the primary people who taught me about God and the Bible that part of this was because some of these people were expecting a powerful warrior to come and defeat all of their enemies with a mighty hand.

I guess the irony here is that Jesus actually did defeat the most powerful enemy of all through sacrifice. The way I understand it is that the sacrifice, death and resurrection removed the penalty of sin, which also meant that the devil and hell itself no longer has any hold over humanity unless humans choose to reject Christ.
Very true.

Quote:
And... I guess I'm still a bit confused about something in general. Is it really true that God chose certain people first? If so, does that mean He goes out of His way to exert more influence over those that He knows would be more receptive to Him.... or could it be said that He only goes to those who ask Him to be more involved with their daily/personal lives?
This goes back to the issue of fate versus free will. My belief, based on everything I've read in the Bible, is that this life isn't so much about us choosing God--or not choosing God. Rather, it's a display of God's power and sovereignty to show that he can cause certain people (his predestined elect) to love and serve him, even though the human heart is sinful and wicked. This also implies that he has predestined certain people to hell. I understand this is not a popular view, but it's the only one you can have if you believe god is all-sovereign.

This life is not about us or our choices. It's about God and his purposes. As it says in Roman 9:22, God might be choosing to display a contrast between those fated to heaven versus those fated to hell--so that his mercy might be revealed.
Again, this sounds horrible to human understanding. But who are we? God can do whatever he wants. He defines the rules and what is acceptable. We are on trial, not him.


Quote:
I also remember reading something on a Catholic blog once, that supposedly quoted something from the Pope... I dont' remember it exactly, so I can't quote it precisely, but it said something about how God made His presence known to ALL humans one way or another, so that.... even at the moment of death, even the most ignorant or adament non-believer would glimpse His spirit and is given a chance to be spared from hell. And if the person accepts Him on the spot, sometimes it leads to a truly glorious moment where the person will go straight to Heaven without even going to Purgatory. But there are still some cases where someone will reject God outright or push Him away.

That was according to that source at least, and I may have recited it poorly, but I think it does have something to do with God's will and how much He may influence or have a say in things. I'm not entirely sure if it's true or if I should agree with it fully, I just think it is very interesting and I hope it is true because I want to believe that anyone at all could be given a chance in the end to reach Heaven, that God would not choose to outright shun anyone who refused to walk in Him during the majority of their life on earth.
Biblically speaking, you are best off ignoring the Pope and Catholicism. There is no such thing as pergatory. If perfatory exists, then Christ's sacrifice was not sufficient. Period. End of debate.
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Old 24th February 2017, 4:55 AM   #44
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The way I understand it is that the sacrifice, death and resurrection removed the penalty of sin,
Tanyasinclair,
What you are referring to as 'the penalty of sin' is more accurately called God's Law of Cause and Effect (or 'Karma'). The only way to avoid it is to not sin.
Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection did not override God's Law. We, individually, still have to choose to not sin - otherwise we will be subject to 'the penalty of sin'.
This is also stated as, "...whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Nobody is exempt from this, regardless of Jesus' attainment when he was on Earth.

If you are open to progressive revelation, this links to Q-&-A-type articles on Jesus' Mission.

Last edited by Ronni_W; 24th February 2017 at 4:59 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 24th February 2017, 5:02 AM   #45
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Biblically speaking, you are best off ignoring the Pope and Catholicism.
If you are open to progressive revelation, this is very well explained in the article 'The Catholic Church Does Not Represent Christ'.
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